The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), a civil society organisation (CSO), has blamed Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), for the $9 billion judgement against Nigeria.
A British court had given P&ID, an Irish engineering company, the fiat to seize Nigerian assets worth $9 billion.
This was due to the non-execution of a 20-year gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) the company allegedly had with the federal government.
In 2012, P&ID sought judicial remedy, and in 2017, it was awarded $6.6 billion in damages – of which interest rose to $9 billion.
In an open letter dated September 5 and addressed to Malami, Olufemi Lawson, CPA executive director, said the country is facing this challenge because of the inaction of the AGF.
Lawson said Nigerians are concerned about his non-commitment to national interest.
“It is disheartening that your inaction and refusal to take the necessary steps, when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took over at a time that the reparation costs stood at just $850m, has brought us into this mess today,” he said.
“Sir, is it not worrisome, that since May 2016 that the Arbitration Tribunal on this matter, wrote to the Nigerian Government reminding all the Parties to be aware from Procedural Order No 12, that the Tribunal has decided that the seat of the arbitration is England, you did not do anything in response?
“There is therefore no doubt, that all what your office is preoccupied with now, is to cover up your failures to advise Mr President appropriately, as this matter could have been easily settled for the earlier cost of $850 million.
“Instead, you took the decision to gamble on the arbitration and turned an $850 million liability into a $9.6 billion liability.
“Sir, beyond the financial burden that this places on us as a nation, it also has the tendency of discouraging foreign investors from Nigeria, a situation which will be counterproductive to President Buhari’s commitment towards diversifying our economy, by opening the doors for foreign investors, a move that will take the teeming population of our people, away from the unemployment market.
“It is therefore our patriotic demand that you honorably resign your appointment as our country’s Attorney General. Your continued stay in the position, has far reaching implications on us as a nation, beyond the present controversial $9.8bn judgement debt.”
Lawson said his organisation will be holding a protest at the justice ministry within seven days to expose the ”venomous misdeeds against the Buhari led government and the Nigerian people”.